Sunday, 22 October 2017

What's new in Research - around the campuses

                                          Monash Health

Monash Health would like to highlight the impressive work of their Upper GI/HPB unit over the past 12 months.
This unit is now running 6 clinical trials, has been involved in the establishment of the Victorian Upper GI cancer registry – both pancreatic and oesophago-gastric modules – and have been instrumental in linking a tissue bank with the pancreatic registry.  

The unit has had 2 PhD students submit theses in the past year and has a further PhD student enrolled with another about to commence as well as one Master’s student.

They have had 11 publications and have helped to arrange a state-wide symposium on the optimal pathways of care for patients with Oesophageal Cancer.  

Cabrini Health 

It has been another productive and busy year for Cabrini researchers.  We have successfully published 8 papers and have further 4 under review.  Our Department has presented at 12 national and international conferences and we have had major grant success including an NHMRC grant exploring intestinal stem-cell regeneration.

Our research has been recognised nationally with our work on colorectal cancer organoids being featured by SBS World News, the Herald Sun and the ABC World Today.  Let’s Beat Bowel Cancer (LBBC) Ambassador Ms Melissa Monks was also featured in the Herald Sun news story.  To read more, go online to the “News” section of the LBBC website:

We employed two new Post-doctoral researchers; Dr Christine Koulis and Dr Rebekah Engel.  Dr Koulis and Dr Engel are featured in the section on Post Doctoral students later in the Cutting Edge.

Eastern Health 

There has been renewed interest in surgical research at Eastern Health with the recent appointment a new Professor of Surgery. The upper GI unit, which has had an active research group for some time, has a number of clinical, laboratory and surgical education projects, and have published 4 papers and had numerous conference presentations this year. The Orthopaedic unit has recently initiated quarterly research meetings and is also developing fruitful collaborations. The Colorectal unit has developed a randomised clinical trial that is currently recruiting. A number of breast cancer and uro-oncology clinical trials are also ongoing. Surgical residents and trainees with an interest in undertaking research projects are encouraged to discuss with their supervisors and the clinical school.

Alfred Health

Professor Wendy Brown, Chair of the Monash University Department of Surgery, was awarded the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) John Mitchel Crouch Fellowship.  For her work on the treatment of obesity in the public health system.

In other news― we have 65 published papers so far in 2017.  We are also setting up a Clinical Trials Platform.  The aim of this platform is to have a centralised resource that provides assistance with trial design and delivery, data management and analysis, and manuscript preparation.  We plan to employ a part time data manager and we would also like to increase the capacity of Clinical Research Nurses to assist with the trials.

Surgical Trials Platform

A Surgical Research Forum will take place on Thursday 2nd November 2017
We will be showcasing the research activities of the Alfred Hospital Surgical Departments.

Peninsula Health

Surgical research at Peninsula health continues with increasing activity.
Peninsula health has had two masters of surgery candidates and a PhD candidate in 2017.  These higher degree students have worked on projects that include 3D printing for breast reconstruction, basal thumb osteoarthritis Trapezial implants and Dupuytrens disease.

Next year Peninsula health another 3 MS students and a BMedSci student enrolled for projects. We continue to actively support a culture of research across all craft groups and all levels of surgical endeavor.

Traditionally the treatment for Dupuytrens Disease has been surgical. However, Associate Professor Hunter-Smith and his team at Peninsula Health have recently started using Clostridial Collagenase Histolyticum treatment, which is far less invasive for patients.

They are currently conducting a study to evaluate the impact this new treatment has on patients’ lives and whether it should be used as a viable choice for treatment of Dupuytrens Disease in the Australian Public Health System. Peninsula Health became the first public health services in the country to have a dedicated clinic that treats patients with Dupuytrens Disease with collagenase.

Using the RedCAP data collection tool, the Peninsula team are collecting data using three Patient Reported Outcome Measures: URAMS, Southampton and the Patient Set - where the patient sets their own concerns. This data will form the basis of many publications and presentations at the international level.

The team is part of a major collaboration with the Monash institute of medical engineering (MIME), receiving seed funding of $49,562. The project “Bio-printed scaffolds of trapezium in basal thumb arthritis management” is a major project that will evolve over many years.

The orthopaedic department have been particularly busy, under the leadership of Mr Nigel Broughton and Mr Richard Large, with a diverse range of innovative projects.

Overall Peninsular Health has had 18 peer reviewed articles, 2 book chapters and 23 oral presentations in the last financial year.

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